RTIndie: IFC Beefs Up On-Demand

Plus, King of Kong helmer blows up and Fireflies gets remade

by | August 22, 2007 | Comments

This week at RTIndie: IFC brings indies to the people; Seth Gordon capitalizes on the success of The King of Kong; anime classic Grave of the Fireflies gets the remake treatment; and a Certified Fresh Mumblecore touchstone is our DVD Pick of the Week.

IFC Beefs Up Theatrical/On-Demand Program

First, the bad news for IFC: The company’s attempts to distribute bigger-budget movies didn’t work. The good news for people who like indie movies: IFC will be giving more attention to its First Take program, in which smaller films will receive a theatrical and on-demand release on the same day.

The First Take films include indie movies with budgets under $3 million and foreign fare. So far, First Take has released This Is England (92 percent on the Tomatometer), The Wind That Shakes the Barley (88 percent), and Black Sheep (70 percent) simultaneously in theaters and on cable; Gus Van Sant‘s Paranoid Park and the Palme D’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days are some of the program’s upcoming highlights. Even if these films only play in a few cities during their theatrical runs, they can be seen in 40 million homes, increasing the availability for edgier first-run fare.

This week’s First Take release is Joe Swanberg‘s Hannah Takes the Stairs, which tells the story of a young woman’s romantic connections and disconnections over the course of a summer. Swanberg told RT he’s thrilled to have the added exposure of cable not only as a filmmaker, but as a movie buff as well.

“It’s really exciting,” Swanberg said. “I live in Chicago, where I have to wait a really long time for a lot of movies to come through, so that’s really cool.”

IFC’s attempt to go big(ger) time didn’t really pay off. Despite strong reviews (Certified Fresh at 77 percent on the Tomatometer) You Kill Me didn’t exactly kill at the box office, taking in around $2.4 million. The movie, starring Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, and Luke Wilson, was something of a test case for IFC’s plan for distributing indies with slightly larger budgets. Subsequently, IFC decided to scrap its release of Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon, and has no bigger movies on its release slate.

(Check out our full interview with Swanberg here. Also, we caught Paranoid Park at Cannes; click here for our review.)

Like An Accomplished Gamer, Kong Helmer Gordon Moves Up A Level

Things are looking good for Seth Gordon, as his Slamdance-approved doc The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters continues to make waves. Not only is Kong winning near-universal praise from critics (it’s currently at 97 percent on the Tomatometer), it’s getting Gordon plenty of attention from Hollywood.

Gordon has signed on to direct Four Christmases, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon about a couple, each with divorced parents, who must find a way to attend four Christmas celebrations. The project, which will be distributed by New Line, previously had several directors attached, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In addition, Cinematical notes that Gordon is starting work on The Only Living Boy in New York, the tale of a down-on-his-luck post-collegiate who finds himself contemplating an affair with his dad’s mistress. Columbia Pictures will release the film in 2008.

And that’s not all. It appears Gordon is also in the early stages of a fictional remake of The King of Kong, and hopes to attract the services of such notables as Johnny Depp or Edward Norton to play one of the gamers. The documentary version tells the story of two archrivals who do battle in the realm of Donkey Kong.

Fireflies Rises From the Grave in Live-Action Remake

There have been a ton of cartoons and comics that have gotten live-action remakes; it appears the latest will be the classic 1988 animated feature Grave of the Fireflies. ScreenDaily is reporting that Taro Hyugaji will helm the remake, which tells the harrowing story of two children left homeless by bombings in the last days of WWII. The original (89 percent), directed by Isao Takahata, is one of the seminal masterpieces of anime, but that doesn’t mean filmmakers haven’t tried to give the story another go before. In 2005, another version of Fireflies was produced for Japanese television.

RTIndie DVD Pick of the Week: Mutual Appreciation

Movie critics are always on the lookout for a filmmaker who’s the “voice of their generation.” In the case of Andrew Bujalski, said voice is peppered with “ums,” “likes,” and “y’knows.” But don’t mistake his latest, Mutual Appreciation, as mere emo posturing. With Appreciation and his previous film, Funny Ha Ha, Bujalski has carved out a distinctive niche in the world of no-budget filmmaking; he has a wonderful ear for how twentysomethings express themselves — or, as the case may be, try to figure out how they feel as they talk. Mutual Appreciation is a few days in the live of Alan (Justin Rice), an Elvis Costello-esque indie rocker looking for a band — and finding himself in the midst of several romantic possibilities. Don’t be put off by the grainy black-and-white cinematography or the hipster trappings; Bujalski gets remarkable performances from his cast of unknowns, and post-collegians (or introspective-types of any age) will see a lot of themselves in Mutual Appreciation. And the music’s pretty good, too. Appreciation is at 88 percent on the Tomatometer; it, along with Funny Ha Ha and Swanberg’s Hannah Takes the Stairs, are playing in New York as part of The New Talkies: Generation D.I.Y., which runs through Sept. 4.)

Tag Cloud

Reality Sundance TV X-Men concert Walt Disney Pictures TV Marathons zombies Character Guide Reality Competition BBC One APB MSNBC batman PBS sitcom RT21 Schedule worst latino satire Shondaland psychological thriller dark cancelled Cartoon Network Cannes Paramount Network true crime Spring TV Lionsgate children's TV First Reviews movies CBS zero dark thirty Thanksgiving Dark Horse Comics Holidays anime Anna Paquin superhero space Black Mirror Horror stoner Country discovery Nickelodeon Britbox breaking bad Mary Poppins Returns blaxploitation franchise Year in Review screen actors guild vampires hollywood spanish language police drama Elton John 20th Century Fox video emmy awards 2016 TV renewals dc Tarantino versus comics video on demand Discovery Channel Esquire dceu ABC Family cops halloween Grammys Amazon anthology golden globes Disney streaming service binge Starz Trophy Talk Captain marvel diversity composers SDCC FX on Hulu obituary award winner boxoffice Adult Swim comic indie Netflix WGN 007 Columbia Pictures werewolf TCM richard e. Grant Pop TV Funimation Teen 2018 documentaries GIFs Amazon Prime jamie lee curtis Superheroes strong female leads joker stop motion DirecTV reviews Mary Tyler Moore child's play movie tv talk Syfy teaser comedies ITV travel green book Animation Action foreign name the review historical drama Pop Brie Larson Warner Bros. President TCA 2017 ESPN YouTube theme song serial killer science fiction asian-american Black History Month Winners Oscars Trivia RT History The Witch romance hist documentary independent Ellie Kemper Vudu Spectrum Originals Nat Geo American Society of Cinematographers spain Watching Series Sundance Now scary movies Hear Us Out LGBT crime drama Set visit nature Summer cancelled TV series History USA Network Paramount HBO Comedy BET National Geographic Creative Arts Emmys Hallmark Christmas movies IFC Films Hallmark kids ratings political drama NYCC disaster universal monsters laika natural history mission: impossible Fantasy Food Network Marvel Studios Netflix Christmas movies El Rey Tumblr cars Amazon Prime Video Calendar Awards dragons Apple critics hispanic Disney Channel politics Rom-Com See It Skip It AMC parents ghosts Family CMT spy thriller TNT MCU series free movies Apple TV Plus biography Pet Sematary CNN Film Festival Awards Tour sequel christmas movies Sneak Peek singing competition unscripted Heroines Academy Awards Television Critics Association cats die hard Crackle animated Opinion BBC DC streaming service The Walking Dead romantic comedy VICE Turner Classic Movies Box Office talk show Avengers crime thriller technology Marvel Television Mystery cults Valentine's Day Holiday OWN screenings Superheroe FXX Comedy Central cooking Quiz 45 A24 cancelled television Bravo Biopics Star Trek aliens Comic Book MTV The Arrangement supernatural spinoff book classics First Look 4/20 GLAAD VOD twilight Tomatazos Freeform witnail Writers Guild of America crime thriller FOX IFC Baby Yoda films Musicals Sony Pictures Showtime BBC America Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TLC DC Universe Turner Ovation Ghostbusters 2015 Women's History Month E! Best and Worst Amazon Studios FX justice league Lifetime Christmas movies renewed TV shows Song of Ice and Fire SundanceTV Western Mudbound Disney+ Disney Plus Sundance transformers chucky E3 72 Emmy Awards Rocketman cancelled TV shows Lifetime TBS Mindy Kaling YA canceled TV shows Extras Red Carpet TCA Music adaptation YouTube Premium Logo period drama indiana jones Acorn TV Comics on TV San Diego Comic-Con Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doctor who 21st Century Fox social media PlayStation a nightmare on elm street Pride Month Endgame Fox News TV Land The CW Lucasfilm Polls and Games what to watch Winter TV festivals all-time facebook Infographic 2017 Christmas best Countdown Classic Film Crunchyroll Epix game show Apple TV+ 24 frames OneApp BAFTA Television Academy comiccon Disney DGA psycho rotten movies we love CW Seed Podcast Nominations Peacock Rock Masterpiece finale LGBTQ sports blockbuster 2020 adventure NBC Photos CBS All Access cartoon HBO Max Musical Shudder ABC SXSW TIFF casting reboot stand-up comedy medical drama Tubi Video Games Travel Channel television dramedy Cosplay Super Bowl criterion Kids & Family VH1 Disney Plus TCA Winter 2020 spider-man docudrama south america Hulu Film DC Comics canceled TCA Awards HBO Go Star Wars harry potter cinemax Election rotten Emmy Nominations sag awards mutant New York Comic Con A&E revenge BET Awards Chernobyl Universal Interview Certified Fresh game of thrones TruTV USA crossover Emmys The Purge war 2019 miniseries news YouTube Red PaleyFest dogs elevated horror Binge Guide based on movie Spike nbcuniversal Fall TV toy story streaming Arrowverse Marvel Trailer Stephen King directors Toys Rocky Drama WarnerMedia fast and furious slashers quibi Pixar 71st Emmy Awards Pirates robots Sci-Fi Premiere Dates mockumentary Mary poppins zombie GoT Martial Arts